As the gun control debate has matured someone over the last month or so, I have looked deeper and deeper at my own personal opinions on the matter. I freely admit I am a gun owner and I freely admit I enjoy owning my guns. Yet at the same time, I am forced to recognize there are issues with guns that have to be addressed and that if they are not addressed people our culture of violence will continue. Right off the bat I am faced with a problem. A total gun ban in this country will not work. It is honestly, geographically impossible. The only way for a total ban to work is for us to transform our society in to an extremely harsh police state. I know, some people right now feel that we are a police state but what I am talking about is something much much worse. So, I have to admit that a total ban is off the table.
Given that a total ban is not feasible nor desired for many, I have come to realize there no single approach will ever stop the violence. Limiting magazine size and semi automatic rifles will only create bigger problems because they only cover a small spectrum of the overall problem. Further we have, like it or not, the specter of the Second Amendment. It is a right that is enshrined in the law of the land and that is something that we must respect. At first this might seem like a contradiction that precludes us from ever finding a solution but I disagree. I think a compromise can be found and I think that a properly thought out gun control law can and will effect change. So with that, I offer my suggestion. I have offered a suggestion in the past, in this very blog. Yet as the debate has matured so has my position on the matter.
The Atomic Gun Control Legislative Plan.
1. Ban all hand guns over the caliber of .380 with the exception made for curios, law enforcement and military and specialized licensed security organizations and agencies. With very stiff penalties to crimes committed with guns.
Statistics show that most gun violence occurs with hand guns. Most violent crimes also occur with handguns. At the same time, .380 is considered a minimum defensive caliber. This cuts down on the number and size of hand guns while preserving the principle of self defense. Hand guns below .380 could still be owned as well as curio weapons as they have historical value. Further, it still allows states that have open carry and concealed carry to continue with those.
2. All magazines for hand guns are limited to 10 rounds.
3. All weapons purchased must be registered with the government as part of a national database only used for tracking weapons used in a crime. Personal sales of weapons are still allowed but registration is required. Information required is limited to Name, Age, Address, ID number (DL or other specified.) Gun type, Serial number and description. Again, can only be used for tracing weapons.
4. All weapons purchased require a universal background check. Personal sales are exempt but registration of weapon still required. There is a 5 day waiting period for any purchase that requires a check.
5. Individuals with mental health issues that present a possible danger are prohibited from owning a hand gun for the duration of their illness.
1. All semi automatic rifles over .22 caliber are banned. Exception made for curios, law enforcement and military and specialized licensed security organizations and agencies. With very stiff penalties to crimes committed with guns
2. Bolt action rifles that are magazine fed are limited to a magazine size of 10 rounds.
This removes the assault weapons and the complication of determining what is an assault weapon while maintaining the capability of people to hunt.
3. Same as hand gun
4. Same as hand gun
5. Individuals with mental health issues that present a possible danger are prohibited from owning a long gun for the duration of their illness.
Obviously this only deals with the firearm part but I have not completed my whole proposal. You just can’t ban guns without addressing some of the other issues. Granted poverty reduction is not a part of this proposal but it would also need to be addressed to deal with the crime part of the equation. The next part.
1. Establish a mental health care database.
2. Require all health professionals to report mental healthcare patients to the database.
3. Establish clear guidelines as to what constitutes a mental health care issue and possible durations of care.
4. Establish clear guidelines of actions that can be taken by participants who are no longer deemed a mental healthcare patient.
5. Establish a three tier system (Red Flag, Yellow Flag, Green Flag) with ranking criteria for use in determining universal background checks. Patients deemed Red Flag are unable to purchase or own a firearm. (Certain psychosis and mental health diseases such as schizophrenia are automatically flagged Red.) and Yellow Flag participants are patients who can be taken off the database if they are deemed no longer impaired. Green flag patients are participants that have little to no mental health concerns. By little, I mean disorders that do not present a danger to others or oneself.
6. Information is limited to investigation only and can not be used in a prosecutorial manner.
7. All patients in the database are required to be informed of their status once every two years.
1. All schools are required to submit to local law enforcement clear and reliable action plans for dealing with school violence.
2. All educators are required to take disaster preparedness training tailored to their situation as an educator. This training must cover weather, violence and other types of disasters.
3. All educators must be able to recognize the precursors that could lead to violence in schools and promptly report this to administration (Local education) officials for investigation.
4. All schools are required to have drills that deal with the issue of school shooters.
5. All schools should implement violence reduction training for students in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 grades. All age and grade appropriate.
6. For school districts that lie outside a municipality where the response time of police or law enforcement is deemed excessive, administrative officials can be armed for the purpose of dealing with school violence. However, this does not include teachers who are in the classroom.
I will admit this proposal doesn’t exactly cover every contingency nor does it cover all of the issue. Still it is a good start and it is for the most part comprehensive at face value. It still allows for the respect of the Second Amendment, provides for personal self defense. It isn’t a total ban, although some might see it that way. It allows people to still hunt for sport and does not stop target or sport shooting. It attempts to address some of the mental health issues and takes a approach to education and education security. You can still have armed officials but teachers in the classroom are not armed. In my opinion this is a compromise. Is it perfect? No, not by any means but it is an attempt at trying to cover as much while still respecting the basic rights of the individual.